Amsterdam weather in January

Amsterdam is beautiful any time of the year, and January is no exception — provided you dress for the occasion.

According to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI1), January is the coldest month in most of the Netherlands. Along the sea coast February is slightly colder yet, when the water of the North Sea is at its coldest.

The Prinsengracht, with the Westertoren, in the snow -- January, 2013

The Prinsengracht, with the Westertoren, in the snow — January, 2013

Normal January weather in Amsterdam is like this: the average temperature is 2.7º Celsius (36.68º Fahrenheit). That’s cold, especially when there’s a stiff wind. It’s a rainy month as well.

You can also expect anywhere from five to eight days of snow — which looks wonderful.

Amsterdam Weather forecast ©

More Amsterdam weather (including other months)
Update, January 21, 2016:

Friday (29) Grey, windy, and from time to time some rain — particularly in the evening. A more or less steady 10° Celsius (50° Fahrenheit) throughout the day, evening, and deep into the night. The windchill factor is 6-7 degrees lower.

Saturday (30) Cloudy and wet, certainly during the morning and lasting into mid-afternoon. In the late afternoon you may actually see a tiny bit of sunshine peek through the clouds. Count on an average daytime temperature of about 8° Celsius (46.4° Fahrenheit).

Sunday (31) Cloudy, at times partially cloudy. Scattered rain showers (either light rain or drizzle), with some forecasters calling for an occasional thunder shower. Temperature around 6° Celsius (42.8° Fahrenheit) throughout the day.

Long Term Forecast: see February

Normal Low and High Temperatures in January
1-10: 0.3 – 5.1° Celsius (32.54 – 41.18° Fahrenheit)
11-20: 0.9 – 5.7° Celsius (33.62 – 42.26° Fahrenheit)
21-30: 0.7 – 5.5° Celsius (33.26 – 41.9° Fahrenheit)

Visiting Amsterdam in January?
It’s a perfect time to have dinner with some Amsterdam locals

Sunshine — but not much

On average there will be 50 hours of sunshine — spread out over the entire month.

That said, while you may see many gray and gloomy days, from time to time there will be several hours worth of blue, cloudless skies. When that happens grab the opportunity to take postcard-perfect photographs of Amsterdam’s sunlit streets and canals.

Since the trees are bare, many canal-side façades that normally are somewhat hidden from view by the foliage are now more easy to see.

Oudezijds Achterburgwal, with the Old Church, Amsterdam -- January 16, 2010

Oudezijds Achterburgwal, with the Old Church, Amsterdam — January 16, 2010

Mind you, we’re talking averages here. January can be much colder or much milder. January 2007 was so mild that birds, plants and trees were confused into acting like it was spring. Conversely, January 2010 turned out to be one of the snowiest in a long time.

January 2014 was very mild, as was the entire year. (In fact, 2014 was the warmest year since the weather service started keeping track three centuries ago).

As always, go with the flow. Plan to see some of Amsterdam’s many museums during inclement weather.

Tip: Films shown in Dutch movie theaters are shown in their original languages — subtitled in Dutch.

What to wear in Amsterdam in January

TIP: In case of snow or ice, road salt is spread on nearly all the streets — certainly at key points such as bridges and crossings.

Protect your shoes with a waterproof spray.

Salt spots can be removed with a cloth and some vinegar.

Warm clothes are a must, and you will want to wear a winter proof/waterproof coat or jacket.

A good, windproof hat is not a luxury and no one will look at you funny if you happen to be wearing earmuffs.

Complete you outfit with a warm scarf and gloves.

Don’t forget warm socks and padded insoles.

As always, dress in layers because restaurants, café’s and homes are well-heated.

That said, you may want to consider wearing long johns or thermal underwear. You’ll thank us when you’re waiting for a bus or tram in the biting cold.

Amsterdam weather facts: January

• Average lows: -0.5° C (31° F)
• Average highs: 4.4° C (40° F)

Sunrise & Sunset
• January 1 – 8:51 a.m. / 4:38 p.m.
• December 31 – 8:24 a.m. / 5:26 p.m.

• Average 72mm (2.8 inches) in 72 hours

The weather during other months

Would you rather visit us during another time of the year? Check the weather page roundup, which includes details about our climate during the other months of the year.

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  1. Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
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This post was last updated: Jan. 29, 2016    

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